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Peter and Paul, depicted in a 4th century etching with their names in Latin and the Chi-Rho.Anonymous Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons 

Issues in the Church

Controversies that need to be addressed

Issues in the Church Video

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The church is the name we give to the entirety of believers in Jesus through time. Together we are the church. However Paul in his letters was very concerned about doctrine and order in individual church fellowships. We can also see the importance of individual church fellowships in the the first three chapters of the book of Revelation where seven churches are given a report card according to how they are getting on.


Jesus said “I will build my church”. His church is not exactly the same thing as the denominational churches that we see around us. Jesus started building the church of all believers from the day of Pentecost onwards. From the time of the Book of Acts the church spread all over the world. I have done a series on how the church started in the British Isles from little groups of believers. If you want a broader perspective on how the church spread I would recommend “The Pilgrim Church” by E.H.Broadbent.

AI image of Peter at Pentecost

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Christian Fellowship

Most of the issues in the church arise from the fact that very often the institutional church has created its own set of rules which are not scriptural. I am intending to do a series on issues in the church that cause controversy. However I do not advocate starting arguments about these things in a Fellowship


God wants us to meet together with other believers and have fellowship. He also wants us to be accountable to the leaders


[Heb 13:17 KJV] 17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that [is] unprofitable for you.


It’s important to understand that God has given us the five fold ministry for the perfecting of the saints.


The Five Fold Ministry

[Eph 4:11-12 KJV] 11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:


In other words we need to be under these ministries in order to be in God’s perfect will


If someone is in a trinitarian church that teaches sound doctrine then let the elders be the elders. I am a creationist who uses the Authorised version of the bible (King James Version) and I believe bible prophecy is vitally important for us today. I go to a church fellowship that hardly ever preaches on prophecy, it’s not particularly a creationist church and all kinds of bible versions are used. Despite this I accept the authority of the leadership team in church matters because the teaching is broadly sound. The church teaches that Jesus is the Way and there is no other way.

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….walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

It’s more important to bear with one another in love than it is to try to be right about everything.


[Eph 4:1-3 KJV] 1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.


Having said all that the fact is that the institutional church in my country, the UK, and in many other countries is in decline and I think we need to examine ourselves and ask where we are going wrong. In the next few videos I will be looking at some areas where, in my opinion, many church fellowships have fallen into error.


Why We Don't Need Priests Anymore

Why We Don't Need Priests Anymore. Video

Image via Wikimedia Commons


Christ Tempted. John Ritto Penniman, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

God has a church which he is building and this is the church of all believers in Jesus Christ.


[Mat 16:18 KJV] 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.


The rock on which the church is built is Jesus.


Satan’s ultimate aim is to be worshipped himself. When he tempted Jesus in the wilderness he wanted Jesus himself to worship him


[Mat 4:9 KJV] 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.


To this end he is working towards a one world church made up of all the religions. The purpose of this church will be to unite all the different faiths, bringing them together to worship Satan as represented by The Beast of Revelation.


High priest offering incense on the altar. Illustrator of Henry Davenport Northrop's 'Treasures of the Bible', 1894, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

We can see the ultimate outcome of this in Revelation 12:14-15


[Rev 13:14-15 KJV] 14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by [the means of] those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.


Today we have many different Christian denominations and many of them have “priests” to officiate at services. However the requirement for priests actually ended 2,000 years ago when Jesus died on the cross. The main function of a priest in the Old Testament was to perform animal sacrifices to atone for, or cover over, the sins of the people. He would also make various offerings to God. This requirement ended when Jesus died.


[John 1:29 KJV] 29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 

Photo by Rod Long on Unsplash

Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for all time.


[Heb 10:11-12 KJV] 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man (Jesus), after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;


So the work of Jesus is completed. No more sacrifices are needed.


What then is the point of priests today? Ordained priests are given various functions to perform, according to the denomination they are in. however all these functions are actually things that any believer can do. This is where the term Priesthood of all Believers comes from. The bible says that we are a royal priesthood


[1Pe 2:9 KJV] 9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:


Priests today no longer make sacrifices so they are given other functions, some of which which I have listed below:


  • Taking communion, also known as the sacraments 

  • Taking confession

  • Praying for the congregation

  • Ordaining other priests

  • Preaching sermons or homilies

  • Taking weddings

  • Taking Funerals

  • Baptising or christening children

  • Teaching the Word of God

  • Pastoral care of the flock.


There are other functions I could add but this is enough to make the point that there is nothing the ordained priest does that any believer can’t do apart from ordain other priests. The following chart gives scriptural references for this.

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The point of all this is not just that we don’t need Priests but that we should not have a distinction between Clergy and Laity. All believers are one in Christ. The New Testament gives clear direction about church government.


Church fellowships should have elders who oversee the church. They should be sober minded men who are respected by those in the church. They are not a seperate clergy but are part of the community of their particular fellowship. They don’t stand in the place of God they are fellow believers with their congregation. The word vicar means substitute. The original notion of a vicar is as an "earthly representative of Christ". This is why one of the pope’s titles is Vicar of Rome. He is seen as a substitute for Christ on earth. 


We as believers should not have people who are intermediaries between us and Christ. Christ Himself is our intermediary. 


[1Ti 2:5 KJV] 5 For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

The one world church when it comes will unite all religious people. That is, those who require ordinary people to come to God by means of a priesthood or religious system. In fact anyone can find God for themselves if they are open to Him. You don’t need a religious system to find Him you simply need to call on the name of Jesus Christ.


[Rom 10:13 NKJV] 13 For "whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved."


Why Paul says: -


[1Ti 2:12 KJV] But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

Womens' Ministry Video

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AI Image of the Apostle Paul

The usual answer to this question is that Paul was writing for the age and culture that he was living in.


I simply want to state why this is not the case. 


Paul is giving an instruction to Timothy and the church at Ephesus not to allow women to have authority over men. The reason he gives has nothing to do with the culture of the day but is based upon the story of Adam and Eve


[1Ti 2:12-14 KJV] But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.


Adam was not deceived by Satan. He sinned because he chose to disobey and eat the apple. Maybe this was because he loved Eve so much he didn’t want to be separated from her.


Eve was actually deceived by Satan and Paul is making the point that women are more easily deceived. This is why if they want to inquire about something they should ask their husbands (1 Corinthians 14:35). 


The bible is clear that men and women are all one in Christ (Galatians 3:28). The only reason any of us will make it to heaven is because of what Jesus has done for us. Therefore we are all equal status before God.


This does not mean that men and women have the same roles in this life. The man is the head of the woman and the woman was created for the man. This is all covered in 1 Corinthians chapter 11.


There are many roles that women can fulfil in God’s church. They can teach other women and children, they can prophesy, they can be disciples, they can serve. However they should not teach or take authority over men.

[Act 9:36 KJV] 36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha, which by interpretation is called Dorcas: this woman was full of good works and almsdeeds which she did.

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Women pastors and teachers are not helpful for the people of God. This is the hardest area for a man to say “no”. Adam was an almost perfect man but he was unable to say “no” to Eve. Every man wants to be loved and to love someone. However if we love anyone more than God then we sin. 


Most mainline churches have given in to the demand for women pastors, teachers, vicars, bishops and so on. This has opened the way for all kinds of false teaching on gender and sexuality. Women are often concerned  with how people feel rather than with what the bible actually says. Men often know what is right but give in to pressure from women. The New Testament is actually quite clear on matters of doctrine. It only becomes complicated when what the scriptures clearly says has to be explained away.


For example the bible clearly says that a woman should have her head covered if she prays or prophesies in church

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[1Co 11:4-5 KJV] 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having [his] head covered, dishonoureth his head. 5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with [her] head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.


This injunction is now usually ignored although in the past women in many mainline churches did cover their heads. I have heard the explanation given that Paul was saying that a woman should have long hair as this is her covering. However the passage is clearly not saying that long hair is a sufficient covering when praying/prophesying as it says that if a woman’s head is uncovered that is as disgraceful as if she was shaven headed. This is saying that even if a woman has long hair, if her head is not covered it is as disgraceful as if her head was shaven.

Most people would regard all this as ridiculous but I believe the Lord is calling His people back to holiness. We should all take the Word of God as our guide and not be swayed by the culture around us.


God’s Word was not written just for a particular time. It is actually eternal. If our culture differs from the Word then it is the culture that is out of line not the Word.


I’ll leave the last word to the Apostle Paul.


[1Co 11:3 KJV] 3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman [is] the man; and the head of Christ [is] God.


The Gifts of The Spirit

Their Real Importance

Gifts of the spirit Video.


The gifts of the Spirit are a normal part of church life and they always have been. Everywhere that there have been genuine Christian fellowships of believers the gifts of the Spirit have been present.


Ever since the time of the Book of Acts Christian Fellowships spread throughout the world. Every nation has its own story. I have done videos on how the gospel arrived in the British Isles long before the arrival of the Roman Catholic Church. In Europe such groups as the Pickards and the Waldenses kept the flame alive. Whenever there was a gathering of simple believers worshipping God the gifts of the Spirit started to manifest. In the New Testament they are described primarily in 1 Corinthians 12, 13 and 14, Romans 12, and Ephesians 4.

An example of this would be The Labadists, a 17th-century Protestant religious community movement founded by Jean de Labadie (1610–1674), a French preacher and teacher.

the Waldenses lived in the northern Alps of Italy. They actually possessed the Scriptures in their language, and wrote out portions of it (the only way of reproducing at that time).


Jean de Labadie, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Jean de Labadie felt he had been called by God to re-establish apostolic churches. He believed each church fellowship should be independent and did not agree with church synods controlling independent congregations. Wherever he went people were enthralled by his preaching but he also met with massive opposition from established churches. At one point he established a community in a place called Herford in Saxony, Germany. The community decided to introduce community of goods as a way of expressing their giving up of worldly things. When this change was announced they were engaged in communion in memory of the Lord’s death. At this point a spiritual ecstasy came over all of them; they began to speak in tongues and dance. This went on for about an hour. 


This is not an unusual occurrence. Similar stories could be told of such groups as the Moravians, the Camisards (French Huguenots) and the early Quakers. Wherever true fellowships of believers were established they were accompanied by visions, prophecies and speaking in tongues.


John MacArthur is a cessationist, holding that the "sign gifts" (such as prophecy) described in the Bible were temporarily granted to the apostles to authenticate the origin and truth of the scriptures, and that at the close of the Apostolic Age these gifts had served their purpose and ceased to be granted.


I am making this point to show that the gifts of the Spirit have always been present where there are groups of Christian believers. Some people think that they died out after the time of the Book of Acts and came back with the Pentecostal revival in the 20th Century. Others, known as Cessationists believe that these gifts have ceased completely since the time of the Acts. My point is that they have never gone away.


The real significance of the gifts can be found in Mark 16. First a word of warning about modern bible translations. If you have a modern bible translation you will probably find a note saying something like The earliest manuscripts and some other ancient witnesses do not have verses 9–20. The earliest manuscripts they are talking about are: - 


  1. The Codex Vaticanus

  2. The Codex Sinaiticus

  3. The “Alexandrian” Texts


All these texts are corrupted. I have done a series of videos on bible texts if you want more information. The whole of Mark 16 is holy scripture including verses 9 - 20.


The relevant verses for us here are Mark 16:17-18 in the KJV


[Mar 16:17-18 KJV] 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

These are the signs that follow believers in Jesus Christ. Speaking in tongues and healing are both listed in the bible as gifts of the Spirit. The point is that the gifts follow believers. We should not therefore have a take it or leave it attitude towards them. Some people argue that it is the fruit of the spirit that is important because this is what God measures us by

This is true but the important thing to remember is that the gifts of the Spirit should be present where believers are gathered. If they are not present something is wrong.


Historically, wherever groups of believers have manifested the spiritual gifts they have received opposition from established institutional churches. This is because when a group of believers is led by the Spirit they are not under human control. A church fellowship should operate under the authority of the elders but the elders must not quench the Spirit.


The gifts are freely given by God as he chooses. They are also a sign given by God to demonstrate His power and reality.

Are you for God or Against Him?

Examine Yourself

Are you for God or Against Him? Video


The bible exhorts us to examine ourselves to see if Christ is in us


[2Co 13:5 KJV] 5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?


One way to examine ourselves is to check if we are for the things that God is for or if we are against them. There are various issues in society that have become battlegrounds. Every Christian person needs to ask themselves where they stand on theses issues with the bible (Authorised Version) being their guide. The bible tells us not to be conformed to this world.


[Rom 12:2 KJV] 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.


The world is trying to force us to conform to its pattern by removing the boundaries that God has set. Everything in life exists according to the limits that God has set Jesus was with God the Father at the beginning of creation setting the limits on creation


[Pro 8:27-30 KJV] 27 When he prepared the heavens, I [was] there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: 28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: 29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: 30 Then I was by him, [as] one brought up [with him]: and I was daily [his] delight, rejoicing always before him;


God set natural boundaries and he also set boundaries on the nations of men.


[Act 17:26 KJV] 26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;


Satan is constantly trying to destroy God’s boundaries. The following is a list of seven areas where we have to decide where we stand.


  • Creation

  • Gender

  • Homosexuality

  • Marriage

  • National Borders

  • Abortion

  • Israel


The following chart shows what the bible says about each of these issues.


Each of these areas is clearly dealt with in the bible. It is interesting to me that very often people fall into one camp or the other


Extremely left wing people tend to fall into the opposite camp to bible believers. They are usually evolutionists, support trans gender ideology and homosexuality, support gay marriage, believe in removing national borders, are pro-abortion and anti-Israel. Many people are looking for a middle ground on these subjects. However as radical left wing ideas take hold people will be forced to choose one camp or the other. 


This is normal life for a Christian. We are called to go against the flow, take the narrow path and not just keep our heads down.

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